At many points in our lifetime, we’re put into positions where others depend on us to be a good teammate. You’re a teammate to your colleague at the office, your partner on a college partner, your roommate, and your significant other. These people depend on you. How do you know that you’re upholding your end of the bargain?
I remember the struggle of working as a team on projects and presentations in college, and I bet you do too. It was hard to get work done. Someone always did too much, and someone always got more credit than they deserved. Many teams ultimately finish their projects, but not as great teammates. In fact, most of them probably never speak again.
I’m surprised at how bad people can be at being teammates – myself included in some situations. In business, salespeople don’t let the delivery team know that more sales are coming. Leaders don’t share updates from their off sites, etc. All things that could and would help their people do their jobs better. At home, we ignore when it’s our turn to do the dishes, and at a deeper level, we don’t communicate our needs or listen when the other person tells us theirs.
When actions are small, we usually don’t stop to really consider the impact of them. But if there’s one thing that the Outside Insights community knows, it’s that change happens in small steps. Habits are formed. In terms of being a good teammate, garbage in equals garbage out.
For the most part, people are smart, knowledgeable, capable, productive – but these attributes alone do not make you a great teammate.
Here are a few behaviors and characteristics that I’ve learned make great someone a better teammate:
1) Are you considerate?
Do have the ability and willingness to have empathy and understand how your work and actions will impact others. Perhaps you’re working on something that will cause a spike in work for another dept or for your own group? Do you let them know in advance? Do you hand the work off to someone else?
2) Are you an over communicator?
So many challenges in life and work stem from problems with communication. So, why not practice over-communication? Tell everybody everything regardless of role or title. It seems to me today that leaders and households need all of the help they can get. Leaders don’t have all of the answers. Why not get some help and some input to keep teams informed.
3) Are you capable and knowledgeable?
Some folks don’t know what they don’t know. Think about when you were a know-it-all teenager. We must be dedicated to knowledge, to always becoming a better version of ourselves. Good teammates can pull their weight. Can be productive. Can help others when needed. Good teammates don’t let others do their jobs for long. They grow into and carry the load that’s expected of their role on the team.
4) Do you make your teammates better?
Good teammates help others become the best version of themselves. They share information. They communicate clearly and succinctly when giving updates. They are willing to teach and learn from one another. Teammates stop what they are doing to help and know when to rally the troops when more help is needed.
When working with others, at work or at home, what behaviors do you appreciate when it comes to your teammates? How do you intentionally work to be a good teammate to others? Reply and let me know.
Until next time,
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